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Review: Goodbye Deponia

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After the disappointment of Daedalic’s Memoria, I was a little nervous about the potential for Goodbye Deponia. Sure the series features one of the funniest antihero’s in recent memory in Rufus, and an overall unique- albeit European- charm, but had Daedalic reached a point of over saturation in the adventure genre? I’m happy to report that Daedalic not only returned to the strength of the previous games, but handily outdid themselves in the final chapter of the Deponia series. In fact, it stands in such stark contrast to Memoria, that its almost hard to believe its from the same developer.

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The story brings us back to our hapless hero Rufus in his continued quest to escape the trash world of Deponia and ascend up to the cloud city of Elysium. Rufus hasn’t necessarily “matured” over the course of the series, but Daedalic has managed to make him a more complex and interesting character. Along with the inherent humor of Rufus, one of the more consistently entertaining aspects of the series writing has been watching how other characters react to, and attempt to handle him.

Witness an early scene where the team has arrived at a hotel for the opening set piece of the game. Doc is hard at work on a nerofusion chamber to repair Goals brain implant. Rufus is struggling to inject himself into the situation. To get him out of there hair Bozo and Doc tell Rufus that they need him to do the more important job of finding a plasma…exchange…whoop di do…mammoth fur…relay. Delivered from the deadpan seriousness of characters like Doc and Bozo, it’s interactions like this that keep the game grounded amidst the manic fervor of Rufus.

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As if it weren’t hard enough handling one Rufus, he has found a way to clone himself, so we get three times the amount of egotistical snarkiness as before. This makes for some interesting puzzle scenarios in a series that has been rife with head scratchers. I feel like a broken record repeating that some of the puzzles you’ll encounter are complete nonsense, but this is really to be expected at this point. Goodbye Deponia though has probably the least amount of unfairly difficult puzzles to solve. While hardcore adventure gamers might see this as a weakness, this makes Goodbye Deponia a perfect offering for those who are more interested in the fantastic story and artwork of the series.

I can’t compliment Daedalic enough on the art direction and visuals in the Deponia series. This is a truly beautiful game, not just for an adventure game, or for an indie title, but gorgeous with no caveats. New areas present further refinements in their steampunk aesthetic, and present a sense of wonder while always consistent and believable for the world.

Also continuing in this chapter is the complimentary ambient score, and the quirky guitar songs featured in the interlude to each section of the game. All of this aids in creating the wonderful overall aesthetic for the game.

One quibble with the franchise is why these games aren’t just released as episodes in an all encompassing title. While there are barriers and time constraints to releasing games this way, this seems like the perfect series to have been released as Deponia parts 1,2,and 3. This would also negate the chances of players accidentally beginning the series at a point other than the starting, which for a series that doesn’t really catch players up with each chapter can be a problem.

goodbye deponia e3 screenshot 07 Review: Goodbye Deponia

Regardless, its sad to see the Deponia series ending, as it represents Daedalic studios at the top of their game (pun intended), but its great to see it do so on such a high note. The series as a whole deserves to sit along side the great Lucasarts adventure games of years past as an absolute must play for adventure gamers.

 Review: Goodbye Deponia

David Willming

Amateur filmmaker, music junkie, and a gamer with a penchant for all things indie and/or weird

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